Trump blasts Bitcoin, Facebook’s Libra, demands they face banking regulations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday criticized Bitcoin, Facebook’s proposed Libra digital coin and different cryptocurrencies and demanded that firms search a banking constitution and make themselves topic to U.S. and world regulations if they wished to “become a bank.”

Trump blasts Bitcoin, Facebook's Libra, demands they face banking regulations 1

FILE PHOTO: Representations of digital foreign money are displayed in entrance of the Libra emblem on this illustration image, June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International,” he added.

Facebook mentioned final month it could launch its world cryptocurrency in 2020. Facebook and 28 companions, together with Mastercard Inc (MA.N), PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) and Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N), would kind the Libra Association to control the brand new coin. No banks are presently a part of the group.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), the most important U.S. financial institution by belongings, plans to launch its personal digital cash.

Trump’s feedback come sooner or later after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell instructed lawmakers that Facebook’s plan to construct a digital foreign money known as Libra couldn’t transfer ahead except it addressed considerations over privateness, cash laundering, shopper safety and monetary stability.

Powell mentioned the Fed had established a working group to observe the venture and was coordinating with different international locations’ central banks, a number of of which have additionally expressed concern about Facebook’s digital foreign money venture.

The U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council, a panel of regulators that identifies dangers to the monetary system, can also be anticipated to conduct a evaluation.

Facebook, the White House and the Treasury Department didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. A spokeswoman for the Federal Reserve declined to remark.

Bitcoin BTC=BTSP, the best-known digital coin, was created in 2008 as an alternative choice to currencies managed by governments and banks, however crypto buying and selling and digital currencies stay largely unsupervised. The market has additionally confronted allegations of cash laundering and terrorist financing.

Trump’s sequence of tweets on cryptocurrency additionally come on the heels of an occasion on the White House the place the president criticized giant expertise firms that he mentioned handled conservative voices unfairly.

The Internet Association, a commerce group representing main tech corporations like Facebook, Twitter and Google, mentioned: “Internet companies are not biased against any political ideology, and conservative voices in particular have used social media to great effect.”

Reporting by Makini Brice and Eric Beech; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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